Wake County Rep. Tom Murry is in a tight race with Cary Town Council member Gale Adcock for the House District 41 seat, and he’s resorting to less than truthful tactics to try to secure a win.
The North Carolina Association of Educators has filed a complaint with the State Board of Elections charging that paid staff workers are handing out lookalike, fake endorsements of Murry, Rep. John Szoka and Rep. Chris Whitmire, to voters at the polls on Election Day.
The apple-shaped handouts—paid for by Murry’s campaign committee, the NC Healthy Leadership Committee—say Murry, Szoka and Whitmire are “supported by the North Carolina Association of Educators.”
“The materials suggest NCAE endorses these candidates,” writes Michael L. Weisel, an attorney for the NCAE, in the complaint. “NCAE most emphatically did not.”
Weisel explains that the handout resembles the “Apple Card,” paid for by the NCAE-PAC, which lists educators recommended by the NCAE. The Apple Card is a “well-known election material, with over 275,000 printed and distributed statewide for the 2014 elections.”
The NCAE has used the Apple Card in several previous election cycles, and for the 2014 election cycle, the Wake NCAE explicitly endorsed Gale Adcock for the House 41 seat. In Whitmire’s race—House District 113—the NCAE endorsed Whitmire’s opponent, Democrat Norm Bossert. In Szoka’s race in House District 45, the NCAE did not make an endorsement.
Weisel writes that the claim that the NCAE supports Murry is “unequivocally false” and that the statement is “made knowingly, in reckless disregard for the truth.” Claiming false endorsements constitute misdemeanors under North Carolina General Statutes. The complaint urges the Board of Elections to investigate the violation and issue a cease and desist order.